And he's the first candidate out of the gate announcing his fundraising totals.
Newsom told supporters late Tuesday that he had raised just shy of $1.2 million in the second half of 2008 from "more than 1,000" contributors.
Newsom touted that two-thirds of the donations were collected online.
Attorney General Jerry Brown has not filed a full report for the second half of 2008, but initial filings (showing only donations of $5,000 or more) have him collecting more than $2 million. Brown also started on July 1 with $1.7 million in the bank, compared to Newsom starting from zero.
Brown has not declared for governor and has raised the money in his account for reelection as attorney general, though the funds are fully transferable.
Lt. Gov. John Garamendi has reported raising more than $200,000 in large contributions in the second half of 2008.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa raised more than $2.7 million for his reelection campaign in the full calendar year 2008, as he cleared the field of any well-known and well-funded challengers.
Villaraigosa could be reelected as early as March, should he avoid a runoff election. The mayor has not said he is interested in running for governor in 2010, but speculation has continued that he could run.
Photo: Gov. Schwarzenegger talks as San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom listens as the governor launches Bank on California, on Friday Dec. 12, 2008. Credit: Brian Baer/Sacramento Bee